PAUL PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Diabetic retinopathy. Ophthalmoscope view of the retina of the eye in a diabetic patient showing retinopathy. Here, discolouration of the retina (orange) is seen as white patches and red "dots". Diabetic retinopathy describes the damage to the blood supply of the retina that occurs as a complication of diabetes. The red "dots" are blood haemorrhages or tiny aneurysms (balloon-like swellings) caused by blockages in capillaries and small arteries, with reduced blood flow. Increased permeability of the blood vessels may also produce white fatty exudates, as seen here, and oedema (fluid accumulation). Retinopathy impairs sight and in severe cases leads to blindness.
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